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Flint gets drinking water deal following lead water crisis

Flint gets drinking water deal following lead water crisis
From CBC - November 23, 2017

The FlintCity Council has narrowly approved a 30-year agreement to get drinking water from a regional agency, bringing to end one battle among many in the Michigan city still recovering from a lead-tainted water crisis.

The deal was approved Tuesday night by a 5-4 vote after hours of debate and comments from dozens of residents, following months of court-ordered negotiations. The pact means the Great Lakes Water Authority will continue to serve Flint. It has been providing water for Flint in short-term deals since fall 2015, when Gov. Rick Snyder acknowledged the crisis related to use of inadequately treated water from the Flint River.

"We have been waiting for a decision for months," said Mayor Karen Weaver, who pushed for the deal and recently survived a recall election. "You ca not please everybody, but we know we made the best decision for public safety and being fiscally responsible."

The city stopped using Detroit's water system and instead tapped the Flint River during an 18-month period in 2014 and 2015, as a way to save money while the city's finances were under state control. But the river water was not properly treated, which caused lead from pipes in older homes and buildings to leach into drinking water.

Some children were found to have elevated lead levels in their blood, which can cause developmental delays and other health problems. Some experts have also linked the tainted water to the deaths of 12 people who died after contracting Legionnaires' disease, a type of pneumonia.

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